ICMSA’s Morrison says greater clarity needed from Dept on mechanical grading suspension.

The Chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee has said that farmers will be perturbed by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s recent admission that so far this year the Department has suspended the mechanical grading in two factories and ordered those factories to revert to manual grading.

Mr. Des Morrison said that he had deliberately not commented as soon as the story broke some days ago in the hope that some further clarity would be forthcoming.   But given the absence of any more details, he felt that certain questions needed to be asked – and answered – and he was critical of what he termed the lack of additional information when the Department released the news.

“ICMSA does not think that a kind of airy announcement that mechanical grading has been suspended in two factories is in any way sufficient. Who were the factories?  What degree of error was discovered upon inspection of the mechanical grading?  How long was it happening for? How many animals were affected on grading and fat score and, most importantly, did any farmers lose their ‘in-spec’ bonus?   If so, how many were involved?   It’s vital to ascertain that last point because the ‘in-spec bonus is such an important element of the overall price”, said Mr. Morrison.

Mr. Morrison said there was a vague tone to the revelations that would greatly irritate farmers who suspected – with much justification – that there was a tolerance extended to grading failures on the part of the factories that was conspicuously not extended to farmers accused of failing to comply with the bewilderingly complex regulations covering farming and primary food production.

Ends     27 July 2020

Des Morrison, 087-2263331

Chairperson, ICMSA Livestock Committee

Or

Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office